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Ask Doctor Cory.

Dear Dr. Cory:

Why do people get diabetes? My friend's mom died because she had diabetes and didn't take care of herself.

Sandra E-mail letter

Dear Sandra:

Diabetes is a disease in which the body can't use blood sugar properly. The pancreas (PAN-kree-us) does not make the right amount of insulin (IN-suh-lin), the substance that helps the blood sugar get into your body's cells. The body needs shots of insulin to help get the sugar to the cells. Exercise and changes in the diet also help.

Diabetes seems to occur more often in some families than in others. Research suggests that a virus may be responsible in such cases.

Warning signs of diabetes can include:

* Loss of weight

* Constant thirst

* Frequent urination

* Blurred vision

* Constant hunger

* Vomiting

* Feeling tired and weak

Simple blood and urine tests can be done to find out if someone has diabetes.

Because some types of adult diabetes (which we are now beginning to see in teens, too) are associated with being overweight and making poor food choices, start now to develop healthy habits--eat right and exercise regularly.

Dear Dr. Cory:

When you have strep throat, why do your tonsils swell and lymph nodes hurt? Did I get strep throat because I roller-bladed in 40-degree weather without a jacket? Please tell me.

Hayley M. Edmond, Oklahoma

Dear Hayley:

No, you did not get strep throat from roller-blading in 40-degree weather, though such stresses can weaken your body and make it harder to fight infections.

Strep throat is caused by streptococcal (strep-toe-KOK-uhl) bacteria. Most types of strep throat are carried on droplets of breath moisture. Unfortunately, the person with strep is often contagious before he notices that he is ill.

Lymph nodes and tonsils become enlarged and tender when your body is fighting strep throat because dead bacteria, white blood cells, and fluid collect inside them. Swollen lymph nodes, in this case, are a good sign. They show that your body is fighting the infection.

However, enlarged lymph nodes can be a sign of more serious illnesses. Any lumps or swellings larger than a nickel that last for more than two weeks without any obvious reason should be checked by your doctor.


Cory SerVaas, M.D.

Send your health questions to: "Ask Doctor Cory" U*S*Kids, P.O. Box 567, Indianapolis, IN 46206. Or, e-mail your questions to:

This column does not replace your doctor's advice.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:diabetes and strep infections
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:U.S. Kids
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Previous Article:Patty's Pen Pals.
Next Article:Healthy Resolutions.

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